We all have tools that make our jobs a little easier. This week, I’m sharing my accessibility checklist for Storyline development. I’m sure it’s not perfect, and I’d love your ideas and suggestions to improve it. (Leave a comment below or reach out on LinkedIn.)
The link to download it is below, and this post answers some questions you may have about it. Enjoy!
What standards is the checklist based on?
The checklist references the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). WCAG is an international standard for producing web content that people with disabilities can access.
The guidelines are organized around four principles:
You can find out more about the POUR principles at the WCAG website. Or read this previous post about creating accessible documents and presentations.
Each guideline has success criteria associated with it, used to verify compliance. There are three levels of success criteria (A, AA, and AAA), which form the basis of the checklist.
I used WCAG 2.1 level AA to create the checklist. In addition, I included some elements from level AAA (referred to as preferences).
Will this help my courses be Section 508 compliant?
If you’re in the United States, you may equate accessibility requirements with Section 508 compliance. These federal standards, originally issued in 2000, were updated in 2018 to incorporate the WCAG 2.0 standards.
Section 508 is part of United States federal law, while WCAG is an international standard. US federal agencies and organizations that receive federal funding require web content to be compliant with Section 508.
Section 508 standards are not as robust as the WCAG 2.1 standards—which means they aren’t as inclusive. And remember, the goal of accessibility is not to be merely compliant but to be inclusive.
As Amy Lomellini reminded us at TLDC’s Accessible and Inclusive Design conference in 2021, we need to ask ourselves, “Who deserves access to professional development opportunities?” The answer, of course, is everyone.
With that in mind, the checklist should help you meet and exceed Section 508 requirements to be more inclusive of all learners. However, as I said, I’m sure it’s not perfect. It should not be substituted for any official checklists your agency or organization requires.
Can I modify the checklist?
You are free to use and modify the checklist with attribution to Scissortail Creative Services as the original source.
Can I use this checklist with other authoring tools?
I created this accessibility checklist for Storyline development, but you could easily adapt it for use with other tools. You’ll need to be familiar with how your authoring tool handles accessibility.
For example, in Storyline, you can select a checkbox to mark objects that assistive technology should ignore, such as shapes used as backgrounds. Another authoring tool may have a different way to mark objects as decorative. If not, you may need to insert null alt text to tell screen readers to ignore the image.
Here are some additional resources to help you develop accessible eLearning courses:
- E-learning Accessibility
- Storyline 360: How to Design an Accessible Course
- Rise 360: How to Design an Accessible Course
- Create Accessible Projects in Adobe Captivate
- Create Accessible Content in Evolve
- Designing Accessible Learning Content: A Practical Guide to Applying Best-Practice Accessibility Standards to L&D Resources, book by Susi Miller
As an Amazon Affiliate, I will earn a small amount if you choose to purchase the book from the above link. This does not affect the price you pay and helps to support this blog.